No matter whether you consider yourself to be an entrepreneur, part-time VA, self-employed hairdresser, or creator of homemade body care, your mindset is critical to your success, especially if you want to be happy in your work. Because let’s face it, if you’re going for something you want, it needs to be something that makes you happy!
But this isn’t just about the happiness associated with the end destination alone. If you want the lifestyle you desire, you need to give yourself permission to enjoy the entire journey of getting there - because you may be travelling for quite some time.
This was a big one for me. I realised I’d been waiting for the time to be right, in order to be happy and I couldn’t be happy until I reached that end goal. I put so much pressure on myself to not be happy, as I didn’t feel I deserved it until I’d reached my self-designated level of business.
Can you relate? It typically sounds something like this:
“So when I get to £2k a month, I’ll be able to be happy, as I’ll have earnt enough to cover what I need and buy what I want and that will make me happy. I’ll be truly happy when I am slimmer, as I see myself as this slimmer happier person in the future, standing there giving talks on stage. In the meantime, I’ll not celebrate anything along the way, as I’m not in that place yet. I can’t start promoting myself as a speaker, as I’m not slimmer yet. I have too much work to do to get there. The journey is a long one, so I’d better work hard to get there faster, so I can crack out a smile and be genuinely happy with my end result when I finally reach it - then I’ll do all the things I want to do and be the person I want to be, as I’ll be happy.
Except you won’t.
Happiness isn’t an end destination or result - it’s an emotion. And you can feel emotions whenever you want to.
What usually happens in this type of scenario, is this - you switch happiness out for another emotion, one that ‘better fits’ your current situation. After all, if you’re happy now, it could be a sign that you’re satisfied with your lot - and then you’ll get more of the same, right?
Well, wrong! If you’re happy now, you’ll be happier generally - now, in the next minute, and the one after that.
Until you decide you’re not. Because that’s how emotions (and our mind) work!
Don’t believe me? Have you ever told yourself you’re having a bad day? [I can see you all nodding!]. Did you allow yourself to stay in the associated emotions of that bad day - or did you change your mind and choose again? [If you did choose again; great - keep choosing again until you hit happiness!]
What typically happens is you let the thought of having a bad day, dictate what emotions you felt - and happiness doesn’t fit that thought.
Because that’s the key here. You can permit yourself to be happy at any moment. It’s often the limiting beliefs, fears, expectations and thoughts you have about yourself and the situation, that dictate whether you keep our happiness at bay.
You just don’t permit yourself to be happy. And if you do, you don’t do it often enough!
If you’re not happy, you often won’t reach up the emotional scale (a little nod to Esther and Jerry Hicks, here!). Instead, you opt for staying in whatever emotion you’re experiencing. You think it’s what you deserve, because of the circumstances that may have put you there or the thoughts you’re continually telling yourself. You ignore anything that can move you up that emotional scale because you feel like you don’t deserve to be happy; you don’t deserve to switch out that emotion - you need to experience it.
You use happiness as a bartering tool with yourself - a reward you’ll only allow yourself to experience very occasionally.
But how long will you do that for?
When will you reach a stage where you finally give yourself permission to change that emotional state?
When you’re working for yourself, you often limit happiness more. Why? Because of the limiting beliefs you have around work, money and professionalism. You often believe there’s a need to work hard and act professionally if you want to be taken seriously. You need to put on a front and be a little more serious about it all. And part of being taken seriously is reining in the emotions - including happiness - as you can’t be serious, professional and happy all in one shot, right?
For ages, I was scared to put myself out there. I was scared of what other people would think of me and how I came across. As a naturally high vibration, slightly woo woo person, I tried to tamper down that high vibration and tone down my energy so that I wouldn’t get judged. I avoided posting on my social media platforms and interacting with other people too much - but what I was doing, was tampering down something that naturally makes me happy.
Happiness in the workplace can be hard if you’re employed and working for a boss, doing a job you hate. But when you go to work for yourself, you’re picking a better way of doing things. You’re choosing to do a job you love so you can have the lifestyle you want - and that should make you happy! You’re allowed to enjoy what you do and be happy in your working environment - otherwise, what’s the point of branching out on your own?
Whether in a business or personal environment, we all tend to use happiness as a reward for good behaviour. Do you like music or dancing? Does it cheer you up? Do you play music regularly - or limit it for when you think you’re allowed or deserve to listen to it? Maybe you punish yourself deliberately, by not playing any music because you know it’ll make you feel better?
Maybe you love spending time with your friends - but limit yourself from seeing them, until you’ve ‘earned’ it. Sitting outside in your garden may bring you great joy - but you won’t allow yourself to do it if there’s any housework left outstanding. (and let’s face it, there’s always outstanding housework of some kind!).
Happiness isn’t a reward system for good behaviour!
You can be happy in your work and life; you need to be insisting on it! Because you’re in control. They’re your emotions, and you can choose to experience any one of them at any one time.
Instead of putting all the different expectations, unwritten rules and limiting beliefs in place, look to always be moving back to happiness.
Become aware of how you’re feeling. Check-in with yourself throughout the day and see what emotions you’re experiencing. If you’re not feeling happy, explore what thoughts you’re having around that. Grab your journal and take a couple of minutes to write down what they are. Investigate whether you’re deliberately limiting happiness or using it as a bartering system on the task or project you’re currently working on.
Remind yourself that you’re allowed to be happy and that happiness isn’t tied to an end destination.
You can simply choose happiness at this moment - and then in the next.
Decide to choose again.
Because we all go into business to do something that makes us happy. We want to be happier and desire a particular lifestyle so we can further expand on that happiness. And it all starts by giving yourself permission. Permission to enjoy the journey and permission to be happy; not just when you reach your end destination. Because it may just turn out that the end destination was never your goal at all - and the real reward was in the happiness you experienced along the way.
What do you think of today’s article - did it resonate with you? Maybe you’d like me to do more mindset articles? If so, leave a comment! I’d love to hear your thoughts on being happy and having a business mindset, so do leave a comment below - and if you enjoyed today’s article, hit a share icon and share the love!
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